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Fiscal Rules and Discretion in a World Economy

Listed author(s):
  • Marina Halac
  • Pierre Yared

Governments are present-biased toward spending. Fiscal rules are deficit limits that trade off commitment to not overspend and flexibility to react to shocks. We compare coordinated rules – chosen jointly by a group of countries – to uncoordinated rules. If governments' present bias is small, coordinated rules are tighter than uncoordinated rules: individual countries do not internalize the redistributive effect of interest rates. However, if the bias is large, coordinated rules are slacker: countries do not internalize the disciplining effect of interest rates. Surplus limits enhance welfare, and increased savings by some countries or outside economies can hurt the rest.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 21492.

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Date of creation: Aug 2015
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21492
Note: EFG POL
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  1. Azzimonti, Marina & Battaglini, Marco & Coate, Stephen, 2016. "The costs and benefits of balanced budget rules: Lessons from a political economy model of fiscal policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 45-61.
  2. Marina Halac & Pierre Yared, 2014. "Fiscal Rules and Discretion Under Persistent Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 1557-1614, 09.
  3. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E. Lucas, 1992. "On Efficient Distribution With Private Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 427-453.
  4. Alberto Alesina & Guido Tabellini, 1990. "A Positive Theory of Fiscal Deficits and Government Debt," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(3), pages 403-414.
  5. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Budget Deficits and Redistributive Politics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(4), pages 909-928.
  6. Thomas, Jonathan & Worrall, Tim, 1990. "Income fluctuation and asymmetric information: An example of a repeated principal-agent problem," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 367-390, August.
  7. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Ramsey Meets Laibson in the Neoclassical Growth Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1125-1152.
  8. David Laibson, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-478.
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